Park's latest tree a creative one

SUSAN STRONGMAN
Last updated 05:00 30/01/2014
gold tree
CHARLOTTE CURD/Fairfax NZ

FORBIDDEN FRUIT: Nikau Radcliffe enjoys the shadow cast by artist Reuben Paterson's golden tree in Pukekura Park.

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Deep in the heart of Pukekura Park, a golden tree has taken root - and it has its own hashtag.

Reuben Paterson, artist in residence at the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery, has created The Golden Bearing, a 4.5-metre high, gold-glittered tree.

The tree was installed on Pukekura Park's Boatshed Lawn yesterday, where it will remain for six months.

The Golden Bearing is the Auckland artist's largest sculpture to date and Paterson said he looked forward to seeing the way people would connect with it.

"Everyone thinks it's real, it's amazing to watch how people react to it, it's really special seeing that interaction."

He said he looked forward to seeing the role the tree would take on in the lives of the people of Taranaki and there would be a "glittertree" hashtag to be used on social media so that people could share their experiences with the work.

Paterson said the opportunity to display his work outside of an art gallery was wonderful and it was fantastic that the Govett-Brewster team had allowed it to happen while the gallery was closed during the construction of the Len Lye Centre.

"Art doesn't have to lose its voice in the community while the gallery is closed."

Despite recent vandalism in the park, Paterson said he hoped people would respect the tree.

And just in case they didn't, a 24-hour surveillance camera would guard it.

About 20 people had worked on the creation of the tree, which was funded by Creative New Zealand and Witt.

The Golden Bearing was made of fibreglass and steel and anchored to the ground with a concrete slab.

It used 50kg of gold glitter, 40 cans of gold spray paint, 30 litres of glue, and two litres of primer.

At noon on February 8, Paterson will host an artist talk and picnic under the The Golden Bearing to celebrate the official opening of the project.

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- Taranaki Daily News

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